Submitted by Douglas
Happy New Year to all of Barbados!
Most Barbadians have enjoyed yet another festive holiday season, refusing to let the naysayers and predictors of doom and gloom try to spoil their mood. As we reflect, Barbadians were reliably informed about the challenges the economy has been facing due to predominately external factors.
The Democratic Labour Party would admit that it is indeed a weary road we have trod, because as a consumer based, import
economy, which has for decades been dependent on tourism, the international economic climate has affected us heavily due to increase in fuel prices, which directly affects the cost of transport and food costs; an unfortunate reduction in domestic exports; and reduced spending power of individuals locally and abroad.
International governments, such as the US, Canada and the United Kingdom have implemented measures which then have a devastating effect on our main sectors. The Air Passenger Duty Tax by the United Kingdom has had a devastating effect on tourism arrivals from that market, although we have seen an increase in arrivals which makes things a lot better than previously projected.
The United States and Canada have come down hard on Caribbean islands trying to tax their individuals who invest in accounts in our countries, attempting to incorrectly label some of us as tax havens. Whilst that suits their objectives politically at home, it sends out a bad message to other investors across the world and affects our reputation and market.
Therefore, as Barbadians, we have to make the appropriate resolutions to be more competitive and efficient in order to compete and thrive in the world market, export more and import less. The DLP had started before, through the Medium Term Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) 2013 to 2020. In the First Status Report of the Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, from August 2013 to November 2013, there are quite a number of positive indicators. Perhaps all Barbadians should resolve to band together and help our country through this period.
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